Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said communities of color are under attack and on Monday urged lawmakers to invoke a State of Emergency in Florida until the Stand Your Ground law is redefined.
Following the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton in July, Gillum believes Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is giving people free reign to kill Black people without fear of prosecution.
McGlockton was gunned down in a Clearwater, Florida parking lot last month by Michael Drejka, just seconds after McGlockton shoved him during a confrontation with McGlockton’s girlfriend over a parking space.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gaultieri said he doesn’t plan to charge Drejka since McGlockton pushed him down first, even though Drejka started the ordeal.
Gillium said during a news conference Monday night,
“It is particularly an emergency in communities of color where we know that multiple studies have shown that homicide rate is going up as a result of these laws… We’ve found a way, at least until the Legislature convenes and deals with these conflicts of interpretation and of law to ensure the safety of everyday people until we get greater clarity.”
He added, “I don’t believe Stand Your Ground has a place in civilized society.”
Gillum asked for Florida Governor Rick Scott’s support.
“The consequence of confusion over how Stand Your Ground is applied in this state can result in the loss of life of otherwise innocent people,” Gillum said.
Senator Bill Nelson has also asked for a federal investigation into McGlockton’s death.
“When you look at that video, obviously he is backing away, and the question is, is there more to it, than just what meets our eye on a video?” Nelson said.
“Is there a question of civil rights being infringed? And that is what the Department of Justice is charged with investigating under the law.”